colorful houses in a row

September 2022 Newsletter: Housing Matters Conference | Policy Focus | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Grounding Values | Member Spotlight | AmeriCorps Updates | Learning & Networking | What We're Sharing | Jobs

This month in...
2002: Policy Director Bob Palmer first joined Housing Action Illinois.

Last Chance to Register for Housing Matters 2022

Join us in person this October 20 & 21 in Bloomington, IL for our annual Housing Matters Conference! We hope you'll join us to hear from local, state, and regional experts on affordable housing and homelessness.

Don't wait to sign up—because we're in person this year, registration is capped, and spots are filling up quickly! We expect to reach capacity shortly. Register now »

Featured Speakers

Emily Hooper Lansana
Community Builder, Storyteller, Arts Administrator, Educator

Diane M. Shelley
HUD Midwest Regional Administrator

Secretary Mario Treto, Jr.
Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Platinum: JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Gold: Midland States Bank
Silver: Associated Bank • Old National Bank • PNC • US Bank • Zillow
Bronze: Ameren

Partner: Cinnaire • Federal Home Loan Bank of  Chicago • Self-Help Federal Credit Union • Wintrust
Friend: Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen • HomeLight 

Thank You to Our Keystone Supporters

360 Youth Services • Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County • Chicago Community Loan Fund • Chicago Rehab Network • Community Partners for Affordable Housing • Cornerstone CDC • CSH • Dispute Resolution Institute • Dove, Inc. • IFF • Illinois Housing Council • INCIL • Respond Now • South Suburban Housing Center • Spanish Coalition for Housing • Springfield Housing Authority • SILC • Together We Cope • Will County Habitat for Humanity • Woodstock Institute • ZION Development


Policy Focus

State Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness Released

We were very glad to see that Home Illinois, Illinois’ first Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, was posted online earlier this month. The plan, required by an executive order that Governor JB Pritzker issued last fall, sets the foundational vision to ending homelessness in the state. The plan relies on both established and new, innovative strategies that bring together Illinois residents, community agencies, and state government in working to prevent entries into shelter. When literal homelessness does occur, the experience will be brief and one-time.

Housing Action Illinois strongly supports the goals of the plan and will continue to advocate for more resources to fulfill its vision, as well as keep providing feedback on implementation of of the plan as updated versions are developed over time.

Department of Homeland Security Publishes Final Public Charge Rule

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a final rule on the “public charge” regulation, adding critical protections to immigrant families’ access to social safety net programs, including housing. The final rule clarifies that several health and social services are not considered in a public charge determination, a decades-old test to deny temporary admission into the U.S. or requests to change status to lawful permanent resident (i.e., green card holder). The final rule takes effect on December 23, 2022.

Housing Action Illinois is a member of the Protecting Immigrant Families Illinois coalition (PIF-IL) that joined others from around the country to advocate for this new policy. Read the PIF-IL statement on the new rule »

Graphic of people holding hands, logo for Protecting Immigrant Families Illinois

Housing Counselor Dispatch

Housing Action Awarded Nearly $1.4 Million to Distribute to Housing Counseling Agencies & Host National Trainings

HUD has awarded a combined $1,387,908 to Housing Action Illinois to support housing counseling agencies through subgrants, program support, and trainings. Housing counselors offer education at no cost to clients buying or renting a home, facing foreclosure or eviction, seeking reverse mortgages, or working to budget, rebuild credit, and attain financial stability.

“The Journey Forward is so fortunate to be a Housing Action Illinois subsidiary partnering agency,” stated Annemarie Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of The Journey Forward. “As an emerging nonprofit and housing counseling agency, their guidance and support has enhanced our ability to be successful and meet the needs of our housing counseling clients. The financial support from HUD allows us to do this critical work that addresses our clients’ most critical and basic need—housing. We are very proud to be affiliated with Housing Action Illinois and privileged to do this important work.”

Learn more »


Housing Counseling Career Path in Spanish

This fall, we're offering our Housing Counseling Career Path training in Spanish! Learn what you need to start your housing counseling career and prepare for the HUD Individual Certification Exam. Register today:


 IHDA Program Returns: Opening Doors

Offered through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the Opening Doors/Abriendo Puertas program is designed to aid lower-income borrowers and households of color who have historically faced steep barriers in their path toward homeownership with $6,000 in forgivable assistance for down payment and/or closing costs. This latest round of assistance is funded through $10 million in Rebuild Illinois capital funds and is expected to assist more than 1,600 homebuyers. Learn more »


Grounding Values

Watch Your Inbox! National Census Survey of Community Developers

Housing Action Illinois is a proud partner in a national study of community-based development organizations—the Grounding Values Study. The results will provide high-quality data to increase support for your work. It includes the first national census survey of community developers since 2005. The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), in partnership with the Urban Institute, is conducting the study, so watch your inbox for a survey invitation from the Urban Institute; the deadline to complete it is October 21.


Member Spotlight: Abandonment to Rehab Program in Decatur

The Central Illinois Land Bank Authority is piloting a new housing strategy with the City of Decatur called the Abandonment to Rehab Program. The program aims to identify abandoned properties that can be saved, rehab the home to code standards, and sell to first time homebuyers. The goal of this program is to keep properties on the tax rolls that may likely become candidates for demolition in the next five years with no intervention, strengthen neighborhoods one block at a time with strategic rehabs, and provide homeownership opportunities to low- and moderate-income residents that want to purchase their first home.

Learn more »


AmeriCorps Updates

Welcome to Petra

Housing Action Illinois would like to extend a warm welcome to Petra D. Rodriguez Everson, our newest AmeriCorps VISTA Leader. Before joining our team, Petra moved from Puerto Rico to Chicago and completed a year of service with Garfield Park Community Council, where she served as data analyst for the Micro Market Recovery Program and organized various housing events for the community. Petra received a BA in Anthropology/Sociology from Kalamazoo College and plans to continue her studies after her year as an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader. As a former AmeriCorps VISTA through Housing Action’s program, Petra is looking forward to supporting Housing Action Illinois AmeriCorps members throughout their year of service.


9/11 Day of Service at Share Our Spare

Last week, AmeriCorps VISTA Members in the Housing Action Illinois network headed to member organization and AmeriCorps host site Share Our Spare for the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Share Our Spare's mission is to ensure that every Chicago area child, ages 0-5, has the essential items they need to support their health and development and equip them for a strong start. Our volunteers organized and sorted 13,067 diapers, 21,520 wipes, 42 children's clothing kits, and 59 maternity clothing kits for distribution to Share Our Spare's partner organizations.

Thank you to everyone who joined us and to Share Our Spare for helping families shift from crisis management to caregiving with dignity.


Learning & Networking 

Events from Housing Action, our members, funders, and organizations to which we belong. Submit your listing »

Hosted by CRN
Community Empowerment Workshop Series, starting 9/27: Register

Hosted by Forefront
Visioning Illinois: Wealth & Power, 9/29: Register

2022 Housing Matters Conference, 10/20–10/21: Register

Housing Counseling Career Path (Spanish), 11/8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17: Register

See all Housing Action events »


What We're Sharing

Families can now apply for LIHEAP assistance to pay home energy bills (and more) by visiting, visiting a local agency, or calling 1-833-711-0374 for assistance in 30 languages. LIHEAP provides one-time payments directly to energy service providers on behalf of recipients. (resource)

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program allows Federal Student Loan borrowers to apply for forgiveness if they are employed full time by a government, 501(c)(3) organization, or public-serving nonprofit, and meet other requirements. Recently the program has undergone significant but temporary changes that make it easier for certain borrowers to qualify for PSLF if you act soon. (resource)

Cook County Commission on Human Rights has released a 2022 survey on the efficacy of the Just Housing Amendment to the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance. Respondents will be entered into a raffle for $25 Target gift cards. Submit by 10/30/22. (survey)

IHDA: The Permanent Supportive Housing Program funds the acquisition, rehabilitation, and/or new construction of PSH projects. Concept meeting intake forms are due 10/14/22. Next Generation Capacity Building for BIPOC Developers Request for Applications will fund loans, training and technical assistance for BIPOC owned or led CDFIs. Apply by 11/18/22. (funding opportunities)

HUD: CoC Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (deadline 9/30/22), Rural Capacity Building Program (deadline 10/11/22), Older Adult Home Modification Program (deadline 10/13/22), Healthy Homes Production Program (deadline 10/18/22), CoC Supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity (deadline 10/20/22). (funding opportunities)

Fund for a Just Society makes grants to groups that use community organizing to bring about systemic change leading to a more just society, mobilizes those who have been disenfranchised and excluded from resources, power and the right to self-determination, and have an active focused campaign to create systemic change. Apply by 9/30/22. (funding opportunity)

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) supports community-controlled, self-help organizations and transformative education through Community Development and Economic Development grants that range from $25,000 to $75,000. Apply by 11/1/22. (funding opportunity)


Who's Hiring

Jobs from Housing Action, our members, funders, and organizations to which we belong. Submit your opening »

All Chicago, Community Partnerships Associate, Program Manager, & Training Coordinator (HMIS)

Chicago Furniture Bank, Executive Director, Director of Nonprofit Partnerrships, & Development Associate/Grant Writer

Dove, Inc., Homeward Bound Program Director

Habitat for Humanity Chicago, Homeownership Programs Manager

HANA Center, Social Services Director & Immigration Attorney

Housing Forward, Case Manager Supervisor & Director of Grants

Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, Staff Attorney (Community Lawyer)

SHPA, Director of Policy and Advocacy & Illinois SOAR Statewide Coordinator


Housing Action Illinois is collaborating with the National Housing Resource Center (NHRC) to expand the field of housing counseling, and NHRC has launched a jobs board to match HUD-certified housing counselors and agencies with open positions. Find or post a housing counseling position at »


We are stronger together. Join us in the fight to create an Illinois where everyone has a good, stable place to call home.


Housing Action Illinois
67 E. Madison Street, Suite 1603 | Chicago, Illinois 60603
312-939-6074 |

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